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A franchise that has spanned almost 20 years, Halo has seen plenty of first-person shooter campaigns, along with a couple of real-time-strategy and twin-stick shooters. The length of first-person shooter campaigns has been relatively consistent since the release of the first Halo title but there is still some variation in length.
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Every Halo game is included in this list except for the remaster of Halo: Combat Evolved because it"s the same length as the original and Halo: The Master Chief Collection because putting six campaigns into a single game makes it long, unsurprisingly.
Updated April 27, 2021, by Thomas Bowen: The Halo series is not one that"s renowned for its long campaigns, instead focusing on quality over quantity. In fact, many of the series" entries are surprisingly short, especially when compared to some of the campaigns found in other FPS titles. That said, Halo Infinite seems to be shaping up to be the largest Halo game to date and so it is entirely possible that future series installments may well be longer than their predecessors moving forward. With no firm release date for Halo Infinite just yet though, series fans will have to wait a little longer to find out.
13 Halo Recruit (5 Minutes)
Halo Recruit is more of a tech demo than it is a game, but that"s not to say that it isn"t still incredibly enjoyable. Those who ever found themselves wondering what the future of the Halo series might someday look like need now only strap on their headsets to find out.
Although limited in scope, the game does a great job of utilizing the technology and packs quite a few characters into its five-minute runtime. The combat test, which serves as the bulk of the experience, is pretty basic, but it works surprisingly well. The inclusion of a target count, together with its rapid pacing, makes it pretty replayable too.
Halo: Fireteam Raven is a co-op arcade game that was released exclusively in Dave & Buster"s in mid-2018. Developed by both 343 Industries and Play Mechanix, the game uses light guns for its combat and supports up to four players.
Although for the most part the gameplay is not too dissimilar to other light gun arcade games, the title does feature one or two unique elements. The most enjoyable of these is perhaps switching between boots on the ground combat to manning a vehicle"s turret, which happens multiple times throughout the campaign"s six stages.
The twin-stick shooter designed for Windows Phones is an excellent short journey into Halo lore giving some back story to Commander Sarah Palmer from Halo 4. The game eventually came to Xbox 360, Xbox One, and even iOS.
The game features score challenges, skulls, and difficulties for all the levels, giving plenty of replayability after the four hours it takes to get through the first go around. Sometimes dismissed for not being a "true" Halo game, this cheap little adventure is still worth playing.
The mobile-exclusive follow-up to Halo: Spartan Assault, Halo: Spartan Strike takes the foundation laid and improves upon it, making for an excellent twin-stick shooter. The game clocks in at five and a half hours, slightly longer than the first one but still shorter than the majority of other Halo games.
The biggest downfall for this game is that it never received a console release, limiting the number of people who could experience the game, since many people don"t want to play games on mobile devices.
The only Halo game to feature a main character that wasn"t a Spartan, Halo 3: ODST is a strange noir-style story, following the rookie as he explores the city to discover what happened to the rest of the squad and uncover the ONI secrets contained in the city.
Despite having "open-world" sections in between levels, the game still clocks in at only seven hours long, just slightly shorter than the other Halo games, but not by much. While playing as an ODST didn"t feel too different from a Spartan, it was still a different and interesting experience for the series.
The second real-time strategy game in the Halo series, Halo Wars 2 features a campaign of comparable length to the main games in the series. It may not appeal to fans of the mainline Halo games due to its vastly different style, but those interested in the series" rich lore will find a lot to like here.
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Both Halo Wars games feature more extensive looks into the universe and give deeper dives into the lore. It works well as a strategy game for console players and new players to the genre but lacks the depth that fans of the genre would expect from a modern release.
The latest main series entry and the only one during the Xbox One generation besides the Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The game was by no means bad but continued the series down a path started by Halo 4 that ultimately was considered not true to the franchise, a concept that is difficult as video games as a whole evolve.
Unlike some of the other mainline Halo titles, the game features two main characters in Master Chief and Locke. The majority of the game is spent playing as Locke, though, as he and his squad attempt to track down the AWOL Master Chief and company.
Halo 4 is the first original Halo game produced by 343 Studios after Bungie left Microsoft to work on other projects and is by far the most different of the games. Replacing the flood as the alternative enemy with the Prometheans made for fairly different gameplay sections, with Promethean enemies feeling very bland.
The game also starts the Cortana going insane story as A.I. only lasts so long, a storyline that may not ever be concluded with the upcoming Halo Infinite looking more like a reboot than a sequel. Hopefully, fans won"t have to wait too much longer to find out.
The final Bungie developed Halo game, Halo: Reach tells the story of the planet Reach falling before the events of the original game. Despite it being about the destruction of an entire planet, the campaign tells a smaller scale story about the actions of the Noble team through the eyes of the newest member Noble Six.
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The game follows their smaller operations with the backdrop of planet-sized war. The game gives some lore to the origins of characters and technology that impact the rest of the series while telling a tragic tale about loss.
More pre-Halo: Combat Evolved stories, Halo Wars follows the Spirit of Fire as it attempts to stop an ancient fleet of ships from falling into Covenant hands. Like its successor, the game is a real-time-strategy game on the lighter side, meant more for fans of the shooter than fans of the RTS genre.
The game is relatively short but does give additional universe lore while doing its best to portray full-scale armies fighting. Series fans may be better off skipping this one for the sequel as the latter is superior in just about every way, although both should be pretty enjoyable for RTS enthusiasts.
It takes about nine hours to finish the fight and conclude the, now original, Halo trilogy. After returning to Earth to defend it from the Covenant invasion, Master Chief and the entire UNSC armada, along with the Elites, must travel to the Ark.
Here the Covenant could activate all of the Halo rings and destroy all life in the universe. The game is a roller coaster of action from beginning to end and gives a proper conclusion to the story.
Perhaps best known for its online multiplayer, the Halo 2 campaign is magnificent all on its own and pretty lengthy as well. The game tells the story of not only how the Master Chief takes down two of the prophets, but also how the Elites rise up against the Covenant after the Brutes replace them.
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The campaign features the Arbiter as a playable character are some of the campaign missions, telling the story from two different sides. It also features the iconic "giving the Covenant back their bomb" cutscene.
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It perhaps makes sense that the one game in the series without an online multiplayer mode (but a great local multiplayer all the same) has the longest campaign, if only by a little. Coming in at ten hours it is still a relatively short experience, but boy is it an enjoyable one.
The game that revolutionized console first-person-shooters and put the Xbox on the map right from its very launch, Halo is responsible for much of the shooter landscape for many years to come. The game solidified the Master Chief as an unstoppable force and gave the true experience of a super-soldier.
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